Sling TV is one of the best cord-cutting services for streaming US TV broadcasts. Considering the huge cross-section of US cable TV channels it provides access to, it is very cheap. Best of all, you can stream those channels on any device – without needing to have a cable TV subscription.
Of course, there are times when you may run into problems when trying to watch Sling TV. Some wifi networks – such as schools and workplaces – block access to Sling TV to prevent students or employees from being distracted. In addition, you will be served a location error if you try to watch Sling TV abroad.
This is where a VPN can help. Unfortunately, not all VPNs work. Even those that do may sometimes give users trouble. That is why we have created this troubleshooting guide. We will explain how to pick a reliable VPN for Sling TV and provide tips for making your VPN work perfectly with Sling TV – no matter where you are
How does a VPN work to watch Sling TV?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a privacy tool that people use to encrypt their data and prevent online tracking. This allows you to prevent ISPs, government agencies, businesses, hackers, and other eavesdroppers from knowing what you do online.
A fortunate side effect of how a VPN works, is that you can use it to pretend to be in a different location. By connecting to a VPN server in America you can get a valid US IP address. This lets you watch Sling TV abroad.
Connecting to a VPN server also allows you to bypass any online restrictions implemented by wifi hotspot providers. So if your employer or school is blocking Sling TV, you can easily, privately, and quickly regain access with a VPN.
Why isn’t my VPN working with Sling TV?
If you have already subscribed to a VPN – but you are struggling to make it work with Sling TV – then it is possible that your VPN is not suitable. There are hundreds of consumer-facing VPNs on the market and they do not all have the features you need to unblock Sling TV.
Many VPNs are extremely slow. These VPN providers cut costs by renting cheap, inferior servers for their network. As a result, those servers cause a lot of buffering, bad-quality video streams, and a lot of lag. This makes it impossible to enjoy watching Sling TV.
In addition to the quality issues caused by sluggish connections, many VPNs have actually been completely blacklisted by popular online streaming services like Sling TV, DirecTV STREAM, Netflix US, iPlayer, Hulu, Disney Plus, Prime Video, and HBO Max.
No matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to log in and stream your Sling TV account. Under these circumstances, your only option is to cancel your subscription with that VPN provider and pick a Sling TV VPN that has been fully tested and works!
Here is a summary of reasons why a VPN might not work with Sling TV:
- The VPN servers and their IP addresses have been blacklisted by Sling TV
- Sling TV has a cookie stored in your browser that is giving away your real location outside the US
- You are not connected to a VPN server in the US that is optimized for streaming
- The VPN is leaking your real IP address to Sling TV
- If you’re trying to stream on Android or iOS it is possible that your GPS location and IP address don’t match
Sling TV VPN – Troubleshooting tips
If you’ve already checked our Sling TV VPN recommendations, and have verified that your VPN is supposed to work to access Sling TV, the good news is that there are things you can do to solve the problems listed above.
In fact, most of the time, getting your VPN to work with Sling TV will be easy and should only require you to do a few things. To help you out, below we have provided the information you need to find your particular problem, fix it, and start watching Sling TV with your VPN.
Here’s how to fix a VPN not working with Sling TV:
- Restart your browser. If you are guilty of leaving your computer permanently on and connected to the web, a good place to start is by restarting your browser and/or PC. Sometimes this can be enough to get everything working as it is meant to!
- Clear your browser’s cache and cookies. This ensures that Sling TV’s servers forget your previous IP address/location and acknowledge the American IP address provided by your VPN.
- Make sure you’re connected to a server in the US. You’ll only be able to unblock Sling TV if you have a valid US IP address.
- Try connecting to a different server. By changing to a different US server you may find one that hasn’t been blocked by Sling TV. Bear in mind that your VPN may have multiple US servers, and not all of them work with Sling TV. For this reason, you should contact your VPN provider to ask which server is optimized for streaming.
- Reinstall the VPN or update to the latest version. It is possible that if you have an outdated version of the app, you do not have all of the most recent server options. Try reinstalling or updating the app to refresh it.
- Update your browser’s geolocation data. If your browser is giving away your real location via GPS, it is possible that you may need to update the GPS settings in your browser. How to do this varies depending on your browser. In Chrome: Open Settings > Advanced > Privacy and Security > Location and turn on Ask before accessing.
- Fix WebRTC leaks. Some VPNs require you to install a browser extension to prevent WebRTC leaks. Check to see whether your VPN has a browser extension, install it, and make sure it is running alongside the main VPN client as this should prevent any leaks that prevent Sling TV from functioning.
How to sign in to Sling TV with a VPN
The best VPNs for Sling TV make it easy to access your account from abroad or on restricted networks.
Here’s how to use Sling TV with a VPN:
- Start by signing up with a VPN that unblocks Sling TV. We recommend NordVPN because it is fast and highly secure. However, Surfshark and ExpressVPN are equally reliable alternatives.
- Download and install the VPN app for the device on which you plan to stream Sling TV. Our recommendations have apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
- Log in to the VPN app and connect to a server located in the US. You’ll be assigned a US IP address that works to watch Sling TV.
- Go to the Sling TV website and sign in (or sign up if you don’t yet have an account). You should now be able to play videos or watch live TV.
- Is Sling TV still serving you an error message? Clear your browser’s cookies and cache. Failing this, contact your VPN to find out which servers are optimized for streaming.
Which VPNs still work with Sling TV?
In our tests, we found that the following VPNs work best with Sling TV:
- NordVPN: Consistently the best VPN for Sling TV. Unmatched speeds and has plenty of servers to unblock Sling TV. Best-in-class security and privacy. Easy-to-use apps for most platforms. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark: Best budget pick to watch Sling TV. Easily bypasses blocks and employs strong security. Doesn’t impose a connection limit.
- ExpressVPN: Speedy and reliable servers that work with Sling TV and a host of other popular streaming services. Great on privacy and security.
- CyberGhost: Achieves some of the best streaming speeds in our testing. A great all-rounder at a low cost. Great for beginners.
- IPVanish: Performed well in terms of speed and streaming reliability. Secure and favored by Kodi users.
- Private Internet Access: Extensive network of servers with reliable speeds and stable connections. Lots of security customization options.
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Sling TV Troubleshooting FAQs
Why does Sling TV block its service outside of the USA?
Sling TV has entered into a contract with the producers, broadcasters, TV networks, and copyright holders it licenses content from. These legal agreements limit where Sling TV is permitted to provide its service. In the case of Sling TV, those contracts are restricted to the US market only.
In order to comply with those agreements, Sling TV must check each visitor’s IP address every time they arrive on its website to purchase a subscription, log in, or stream content. If the viewer is located outside of the US, Sling TV will serve them a location error message to let them know they are not in the correct region.
Has Sling TV blocked my VPN?
Streaming providers work hard to block proxies and VPNs. They do this to prevent people from bypassing the region locks they have in place. Sling TV and other streaming platforms must attempt to block IPs associated with VPNs because they are under pressure to comply with the licensing agreements they have entered into with content producers.
Due to the VPN blocks that Sling TV implements, very few VPNs still work to access the platform. You must pick a VPN provider carefully to avoid disappointment. Luckily, we have found a few VPNs that still consistently work.
The best VPNs for Sling TV make every effort to regularly update their servers, and to keep providing IPs that work to watch Sling TV abroad (or on any local networks where it is restricted)
That said, it is possible that Sling TV may shut down one of your VPN’s servers. If this happens we recommend that you try another US server - or contact your VPN to find out which server is optimized for accessing American streaming services.
Can I use a free VPN to watch Sling TV?
If you are currently using a free VPN and you are not having any luck unblocking Sling TV, this is because it has already been blocked. Free VPNs only have a few servers that are not updated regularly. This makes it extremely easy for Sling TV to block those services. As a result, we have yet to find any free VPNs that work with Sling TV.
Unfortunately, the troubleshooting tips we have provided will not work to fix a free VPN that does not work with Sling TV. Instead, you will need to subscribe to a recommended VPN for Sling TV. The good news is that our recommended Sling TV VPNs all have a money back guarantee. This means you can try watching Sling TV with a VPN for free if you want.